We caught up with Siege’s Art Animation Director Scott Mitchell from Ubisoft Montreal at EGX this year, and asked him about the game’s delay, community feedback and future plans for the title.
UNILAD: Back in May, Ubisoft stated that Siege could become their best selling FPS ever, so what sets it apart?
Scott Mitchell: I think specifically in terms of Rainbow Six what’s setting us apart is the idea that we’re opening up to the community a lot more, other games are definitely following suit. Having things like closed alphas and closed betas, opening up to the community early on and getting their feedback and applying it before we finally ship the game is what’s helping.
U: The game’s been pushed back already, and that’s as a direct result of player feedback?
SM: Yeah, because we didn’t figure we’d have enough time to actually integrate the amount of feedback we would be getting from the closed beta. One of the many things the alpha taught us, was how happy the players were that we were opening up to them – it wasn’t all negative, it was mostly positive. Saying “hey if you tweak that, change that it would help” and that takes time. We’re still trying to finish the game as well as taking feedback and implementing it into the game.
U: So where do you draw the line on feedback before you start caving to community pressure?
SM: Most of the feedback that required major changes was revolving around the golden rules of shooters, especially when it comes to competitive gaming. Tweaking precision, making sure first person and third person animations work properly and knowing where you got hit are important for players to not feel like someone is cheating.
SM: We actually weren’t going with competitive onilne shooter, we were heading toward a solid multiplayer online shooter for sure. The players were like, “this has huge potential” so we were like okay, we’ll support it if people think it has potential. So things like the ‘Castor Cam’ were features that were added in later. Now that eSports is being talked about so wildly it’s important for us to follow that.
U: What are you looking at in terms of character customisation?
SM: As you’re playing recruit and your’re working your way up to the operators, you can customise your loadout. you can buy attachments for your guns, weapon skins etc. When it comes down to the operators that’s not the case, and that’s for balancing. It takes a lot of work to balance 20 operators, each with their own special device, its already insane work. When you start changing loadouts on top of that, you could end up with players who are way overpowered.
SM: We want to continue the relationship that we have with the community, we don’t want to just make it seem like we’ve shipped the game and boom, the door’s closed. As people are playing, we’re still going to be applying feedback as much as possible even after we’ve shipped. Right now we’re working on the online infrastructure to the game a lot.
U: Is it going to be hard for new players to get into? There’s quite a steep learning curve…
SM: It is very difficult and if you go in lone-wolf in Terro-Hunt it’s very hard. You can go in PvE which will allow you to customise a little more to start easy and work your way up, because the AI can get extremely difficult. It’s not like other shooters out there – your tactics won’t work the same way every single time because you don’t know who the other team’s operators are. Sightlines are always different so you really need to be dynamic, and you learn these things progressively.
Rainbow Six Siege is currently in open beta on all platforms until Monday 28. The full game is heading for release on 1 December after being pushed back from its original release in October.
Mark is the Gaming Editor for UNILAD. Having grown up a gaming addict, he’s been deeply entrenched in culture and spends time away from work playing as much as possible. Mark studied music at University and found a love for journalism through going to local gigs and writing about them for local and national publications.